5 Ways Seniors Can Stay Active and Connected During Covid-19
By Jenny Hart
Staying active and connected to the people you love during COVID-19 is challenging and often stressful. Many seniors and caregivers are learning how to adjust to the new normal together. While it’s important to stay healthy and safe during a pandemic for people of any age, it’s especially important for those who are most vulnerable to the virus. This includes people ages 65 and older and those with compromised immune systems.
Luckily, senior care facilities are working hard to ensure their residents are safe and healthy. Consider these 5 ways to stay active and connected during COVID-19.
Use technology to stay connected while being socially distant
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest remaining at least 6 feet away from other people to avoid spreading and contracting the virus, a practice known as social distancing. However, social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. You can stay connected to your friends and family by using a myriad of technologies, which can help you combat feelings of loneliness, distress, or anxiety during this time.
Talk to your care facility about what technology is available to you, such as video conferencing and online chat platforms. Seeing your loved ones face-to-face can really make a difference when you start feeling isolated.
Take advantage of at-home health care options
Since COVID-19, many doctors’ offices have transitioned their services online or through telehealth technology. Whenever possible, take advantage of video appointments to meet with your doctor or have regular check-ups to avoid being exposed to the virus. If you do have to leave your house for an appointment, make sure you follow the CDC’s recommended hygiene practices.
You can also learn more about at-home treatment options by talking to your care team. If you have a chronic condition like kidney disease, for instance, there are options like home dialysis and coronavirus considerations that can ensure you receive excellent care in the safety and comfort of your own home.
Find new ways to move your body
Staying active is important for both your physical and mental health during events like COVID-19. Look for creative ways to get moving – take a walk around your care facility, or talk to your program leaders about activities that allow you to stay socially distant. There may be fitness classes available, or virtual activities that get your body moving.
Your health and wellness are still a priority during this time, so make sure you find ways to prioritize your wellbeing.
Start a club or group activity
Another way to stay connected with your friends during COVID-19 is by starting a club with your friends! Try a book club, a trivia club, or anything else you enjoy. You can meet virtually as often as you’d like, and have plenty of new activities to explore in between meetings.
Clubs or group activities are a great way to keep the conversation going over time when you otherwise don’t have anything new to report. It also gives you a reason to turn off the news, separate yourself from the state of the world, and indulge in meaningful activities and human interaction. Some senior centers and care facilities host regular clubs, trivia nights, or other events that can help encourage you to connect with one another and share your thoughts.
Learn a new skill
If you’re still looking for a way to stay connected during COVID-19, consider learning a new skill or exploring a new hobby. Now could be the perfect time to try your hand at cooking, or pottery, or other safe activities you haven’t been able to try in the past. Some care facilities are even bringing in instructors to teach classes or lessons. If there’s something you’d like to learn, talk to your caregiver to see what’s available.
Staying active and connected during COVID-19 is crucial to your health and wellbeing, so make sure you are voicing your needs and communicating with your care team about what is best for you.
Jenny Hart is a health and wellness writer with a passion for travel, cycling, and books. Her focus is topics related to the effects of aging on health and she is interested in research that can help people age better. When she isn’t writing or traveling, she’s traversing NYC with her two dogs Poochie and Ramone.